Any experiences with Birthright?

By , January 29, 2010 12:06 am

I have a complicated relationship with Judaism, at best. I don’t need to get into my whole life experience . . . but (briefly) I really enjoy the cultural aspects of Judaism and appreciate its long history, yet have serious problems with Judaism as a religion and integrating the less-positive parts of Jewish history into the modern functioning of the religion.

Expanding on that, slightly, I have moved from being ambivalent to how I feel about Israel to being specifically anti-Israel. To wit, the ends don’t (shouldn’t) justify the means: The (sort of) peaceful (mostly) democratic State of Israel as a beacon of Western Civilization to the rest of the Middle East can’t, to me, excuse its horribly colonialist founding or head-in-the-sand attitude toward the idea of a Palestinian state. (I know things are much more complicated than that, and the obvious fact that Israel does exist today means grumblings over how things came to be this way are somewhat moot. Nevertheless…)

All of which means I’m not sure how I feel about Birthright Israel.

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